Eggs are a versatile and nutritious food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. But if you're watching your calorie intake, you may be wondering just how many calories are in an egg. In this article, we'll explore the calorie count and nutritional benefits of eggs, so you can make informed choices about including them in your diet.
How many calories are in an egg?
Eggs typically contain around 50-90 calories, depending on their size. Find a list of egg calorie counts below:
- Small Egg (38 grams): 54 calories
- Medium Egg (44 grams): 63 calories
- Large Egg (50 grams): 72 calories
- Extra-Large Egg (56 grams): 80 calories
- Jumbo Egg (63 grams): 90 calories
It's great to have an estimate, however, the calorie count can vary if you add ingredients like butter or oil when cooking.
Despite their relatively low-calorie count, eggs are packed with nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them a great addition to a healthy diet.
Nutritional benefits of eggs
Eggs are nutritionally rich and supply almost every nutrient you need 1. They are useful sources of some of the hard-to-get nutrients like vitamins D and B12 as well as the mineral iodine 1. Eggs are regarded as a ‘complete’ source of protein as they contain all nine essential amino acids, which we must obtain from our diet 12.
Eggs are a great source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, and iron 3. They also contain smaller amounts of the other B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, and calcium 3. Additionally, eggs are high in choline, an essential nutrient which has been linked to liver and brain health 3.
It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol. However, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has little to no effect on blood cholesterol levels in most people 45. In fact, eggs can provide a number of health benefits such as raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels 4.
How eggs can fit into a healthy diet
As we now know, eggs can be a great addition to a healthy diet. They are a good source of protein and other nutrients such as choline, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D and iron.
However, it is important to note that eggs are high in cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that people limit their intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams per day. One large egg contains about 186 milligrams of cholesterol.
If you are healthy and do not have high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, you can eat up to one egg per day without increasing your risk of heart disease. However, if you have high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about how many eggs you can eat per week.
When it comes to cooking eggs, there are many healthy ways to prepare them. Boiling, poaching, and scrambling eggs with non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil are all healthy options. If trying to lose weight, avoid frying eggs in butter or bacon grease as this can add unhealthy saturated fat and additional calories to your diet.
Eggs can be used in many recipes such as omelets, frittatas, quiches, and egg salads. They can also be used as a protein source in salads and sandwiches.
Cooking methods that affect egg nutrition
The way you cook your eggs can have an impact on their nutritional value.
Frying eggs in oil or butter can add extra calories and fat, while boiling or poaching eggs can help retain their nutritional benefits.
Overcooking eggs can also reduce their nutrient content, so it’s important to cook them just until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny for maximum nutrition.
Let's take a closer look at some of these methods below:
Boiling eggs is a healthy way to cook them as it does not require any added fat. However, boiling eggs for too long can cause some of the nutrients to be lost in the water.
Poaching eggs is another healthy way to cook them as it does not require any added fat. Poached eggs are also lower in calories than fried or scrambled eggs.
Scrambling eggs with non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil is a healthy option. However, adding butter or cream to scrambled eggs can add unhealthy saturated fat or additional calories to your diet.
Frying eggs in butter or bacon grease can add unhealthy saturated fat to your diet. However, frying eggs in a non-stick pan with a small amount of olive oil is a healthier option.
Overall, boiling and poaching are the healthiest ways to cook eggs as they do not require any added fat. Scrambling and frying can also be healthy options if you use non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil.
Egg substitutes for those with dietary restrictions
For those with dietary restrictions, there are several egg substitutes available.
One popular option is using applesauce or mashed bananas in baking recipes that call for eggs.
Let's look at some of these options below:
Applesauce can be used as a substitute for eggs in baking recipes. Typically, you'll want to use 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg.
Mashed bananas can be another great substitute for eggs in baking recipes. Similarly, you'll want to use about 1/4 cup of mashed bananas per egg.
Silken tofu is another substitute option for eggs in baking recipes. You can use 1/4 cup of silken tofu per egg.
Yogurt may work well as an additional substitute for eggs in baking recipes. Use 1/4 cup of yogurt per egg.
Buttermilk is yet another substitute option for eggs in baking recipes. Somewhere around 1/4 cup of buttermilk per egg will get the best results.
Vinegar and Baking Powder
A mixture of vinegar and baking powder can be used as a final substitute option for eggs in baking recipes. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of baking powder to replace one egg.
While these substitutes can be found in most health food stores and online, they may affect the taste and texture of the final product.